This week’s episode focused a lot on Kuroko along with a bit of Uiharu and Saten in a TV-only little story. I’ve said it a lot, but I loved the ‘filler’ in Railgun season 1, it added exponentially to the story and characters and really made everything MUCH better than the manga managed to do. Not so much because the manga does a bad job of it, it’s just that the show is able to work in a lot more material that really fleshes things out, gives things more depth, makes things feel more natural, and makes it all feel much more well thought out and paced.
I think that this episode continues that trend – but in a much more important way. Here we have, sure, a bit of material that wasn’t in the manga focusing on some less relevant stuff – yet at the same time not only is Misaka progressing her story in the background, we’re seeing MUCH better than in the manga the disconnect she’s formed between herself and her friends. In the manga it’s played off just through being said directly to you, that she doesn’t want them involved – but in the anime they are actually SHOWING that to the viewer instead of just saying that’s how it is, which all on it’s own is better writing; showing, not telling. Getting something across through a much more meaningful way than just stating the fact. Not only that, but the manga just never touches on how that effects Kuroko, we just know she isn’t seeing her Onee-sama much, it isn’t given much more thought than that. Yet, in the show, we see Kuroko’s side of things and just how far apart she feels from Mikoto, how she comes back to an empty lonely room, how she still goes out of her way to do special things for Mikoto even if she might not be there – and how it’s hurting her.
We see the latter aspect even more thanks to a cute little girl looking for a lucky present for her best friend who she won’t be seeing again, who Kuroko sees herself in. I really felt this was handled extremely well, showing the viewer Kuroko’s feelings in this arc through Kuroko seeing herself in the child. She also starts making a disconnect of her own with Uiharu and Saten, whom in the latter half actually say what SHE wants to say to Biribiri. This whole little side expansion into how the other cast members are handling Mikoto missing wasn’t just nice, but it built upon the canon, and at the very end Kuroko is able to actually give Mikoto a little boost to keep going – which is also very relevant because part of her story is just how horribly worn out she is from not sleeping for days and just constantly using her abilities and, well, being the cutest terrorist (it’s kind of crazy that she legitimately is one at this point) Academy City will ever see.
Speaking of which;
Yes, as I mentioned, Biribiri got some progression too – and it was fast, but the manga skipped over the details of this too. From the start of the episode to the very last second she’s now taken out every single location they have for this project of killing off all the clones except for two more – which it looks like she’ll be getting straight to in the next episode. This season has seriously not taken a single break, even this episode – which was admittedly MUCH more light hearted than those so far (especially the previous few), was still pretty serious and focused. It still carried that ominous bleak unhappy – yet still emotionally up there – feeling of the story so far.
One other thing I really liked is that, going back to Kuroko’s focus this time, the pacing didn’t feel like it let up as I just mentioned. It felt the same, it felt like an extremely smooth progression from the last few episodes – nothing too light at all, yet not so harsh that the show feels like it’s trying too hard to be grimdark or anything either. It was really nice seeing Mikoto’s current situation from the eyes of Kuroko as well; seeing Biribiri for a minute and then she’s leaving, finding her sleeping, coming back to nobody there, and those few seconds she’s around are precious moments for Kuroko and you can really feel that.
All in all, another fantastic episode and yet another amazingly well done tv-only episode that really helped further build upon and better the story that the manga created. All the while doing so without making your emotions go too far from serious to happy/silly, but keeping them in a moderate level for a slight bit of a rest period yet JUST enough so that you’re still in the mindset of what’s going on with Mikoto. It was really great and it was nice to see the other girls around again.
One more small note before I end this! The wind turbines! They finally explain why sometimes there are ones spinning the opposite direction – which I did notice but I NEVER thought about the fact it only happens when Mikoto is around them. It’s because of her! They even made fun of this happening in the special episodes for season 1 (in which Mikoto is complaining about how they have more turbines than Holland and why are some spinning the wrong way and what wind are they getting in their location), so I’m surprised they finally gave a reason for it happening.
Until next week – Be power smart and conserve electricity ~biribiri!